COVID-19 update for Nov. 9: B.C. Ferries union predicts cancelled sailings, longer waits when vaccine order kicks in | 17 deaths and 1,438 new cases reported over the weekend | Business groups call for end of testing requirements for Canadians returning from the U.S.

Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C.

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Here’s your daily update with everything you need to know on the novel coronavirus situation in B.C. for Nov. 9, 2021.

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We’ll provide summaries of what’s going on in B.C. right here so you can get the latest news at a glance. This page will be updated regularly throughout the day, with developments added as they happen.

Check back here for more updates throughout the day. You can also get the latest COVID-19 news delivered to your inbox weeknights at 7 p.m. by subscribing to our newsletter here.


B.C.’S COVID-19 CASE NUMBERS

As of the latest figures given on Nov. 8:

• Total number of confirmed cases: 209,703 (4,282 active)
• New cases since Nov. 4: 1,438 (533, 462 and 423)
• Total deaths: 2,218 (17 additional deaths)
• Hospitalized cases: 407 (up by 34)
• Intensive care: 1112 (down by 17)
• Total vaccinations: 4,184,112 received first dose; 3,986,497 second doses
• Recovered from acute infection: 202,898
• Long-term care and assisted-living homes, and acute care facilities currently affected: 33

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IN-DEPTH:   Here are all the B.C. cases of the novel coronavirus in 2021 | in 2020


B.C. GUIDES AND LINKS

COVID-19: Here’s everything you need to know about the novel coronavirus

COVID-19: B.C.’s vaccine passport is here and this is how it works

COVID-19: Here’s how to get your vaccination shot in B.C.

COVID-19: Look up your neighbourhood in our interactive map of case and vaccination rates in B.C.

COVID-19: Afraid of needles? Here’s how to overcome your fear and get vaccinated

COVID-19: Five things to know about the P1 variant spreading in B.C.

COVID-19: Here’s where to get tested in Metro Vancouver

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool


LATEST NEWS on COVID-19 in B.C.

1:30 p.m. — Health officials set to share latest figures on COVID-19 in B.C.

Health officials are expected to update the number of COVID-19 cases, deaths and recoveries across the province.

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B.C. Ferries union predicts cancelled sailings, longer waits when vaccine order kicks in

Travellers on B.C. ferries could face longer waiting times and sailing cancellations due to staff shortages after a federal COVID-19 vaccine order takes effect on Nov. 15, union officials are warning.

“There is a real risk that if a fair number of people are not vaccinated or have not been vaccinated in time, there will be service disruptions (and) because there is so few staff, B.C. Ferries will not be able to run a full schedule of sailings,” said Eric McNeely, the president of the B.C. Ferry and Marine Workers Union.

But B.C. Ferries spokesperson Deborah Marshall does not believe service will be curtailed or interrupted.

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“We are hearing other companies are reporting (vaccine) refusal rates of one to two per cent once policies are implemented,” she said. “While we cannot provide a guarantee, we predict little or no impact on our service given these modelling rates.”

B.C. Ferries has announced all employees and contractors who work on board its vessels must receive one dose of vaccine by Nov. 15, and must be fully vaccinated by Jan. 24, but ferries employees who are land-based have until Feb. 28 to do so.

In a statement, the ferry corporation said the Jan. 24 deadline for on-board employees was set by Transport Canada. B.C. Ferries opted to include its other shore-based employees in its mandatory vaccine policy but imposed a later deadline for that group as part of its “phased approach to allow a smooth transition to a fully vaccinated workforce.”

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Employees who do not comply will be placed on leave without pay.

— Lisa Cordasco

B.C. records 17 deaths and 1,438 cases over past three days

British Columbia reported 1,438 new cases of COVID-19 diagnosed over a three-day period, as well as 17 more deaths linked to the illness.

The health ministry says 553 of the latest cases were detected from Friday to Saturday, 462 from Saturday to Sunday and 423 from Sunday to Monday.

It says 4,282 infections are active across the province, including 407 people who are hospitalized with 121 in intensive care.

Close to 43 per cent of the active cases are located in the Fraser Health region.

The province says 90.3 per cent of eligible B.C. residents aged 12 and up have received one dose of COVID-19 vaccine, while 86 per cent have had two doses.

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There are 33 active outbreaks in health-care facilities, including nine in acute care facilities.

Unvaccinated people accounted for 60.3 per cent of new COVID-19 cases during the week of Oct. 29 to Nov. 4, while fully vaccinated people accounted for 34.5 per cent, the province says.

Unvaccinated people made up 64.6 per cent of hospitalizations from Oct. 22 to Nov. 4 and those who were fully vaccinated accounted for 29.3 per cent.

— David Carrigg

Business groups call for elimination of COVID-19 test requirement for returning Canadians

The U.S. border has reopened to vaccinated Canadians, but Canadians don’t appear to be flocking down south yet.

The U.S. border opened to non-essential travel at 9 p.m. Sunday night, the first time in nearly 20 months.

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Travellers must be fully vaccinated against COVID-19 in order to cross, but they’re not required to take a COVID-19 test to enter the U.S. through a land crossing.

However, Canadians still need a negative COVID-19 molecular test taken within 72 hours of the border crossing in order to return home.

Critics say the COVID-19 test requirement — which could cost between $150 to $250 — could discourage many Canadians from quick visits across the border.

On Monday, business groups from municipalities on both sides of the border called on the federal government to remove the testing requirement for fully vaccinated Canadians returning from the U.S. at land border crossings, ferries and airport.

They said the testing requirement holds back the recovery of border communities like Blaine, Bellingham, and Point Roberts.

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“At a cost of $150 to $300 per PCR test, that can be a pricey proposition, particularly for families,” said Guy Ochiogrosso, CEO of the Bellingham Regional Chamber of Commerce. “Only when both sides are aligned, will we see an increase in economic activities.”

— Cheryl Chan

Exposure notices issued for 23 YVR flights

The BCCDC has issued exposure notices for 23 flights to and from Vancouver between Oct. 19 and Nov. 7. They are:

Oct. 19
• Pacific Coastal 877, Vancouver to Bella Bella
• Pacific Coastal 707, Comox to Vancouver

Oct. 24
• Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver

Oct. 26
• Pacific Coastal 1307, Vancouver to Penticton

Oct. 27
• United Airlines 5618, Vancouver to San Francisco

Oct. 28
• Pacific Coastal 745, Vancouver to Comox

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Oct. 30
• Air Canada 8190, Vancouver to Kamloops
• Air Canada/Jazz 8182, Fort St. John to Vancouver

Nov. 1
• Air Canada 239, Edmonton to Vancouver
• Air Canada 301, Montreal to Vancouver
• Air Canada 1061, Las Vegas to Vancouver
• Air Canada/Jazz 8440, Terrace to Vancouver

Nov. 2
• Air Canada 311, Montreal to Vancouver
• Air Canada/Jazz 8035, Vancouver to Nanaimo
• Air Canada/Jazz 8888, Whitehorse to Vancouver

Nov. 2
• Air Canada/Jazz 8189, Regina to Vancouver
• Turkish Airlines 75, Istanbul to Vancouver

Nov. 3
• Aeromexico 696, Mexico City to Vancouver
• Pacific Coastal 877, Vancouver to Bella Bella

Nov. 4
• Air Canada/Jazz 8845, San Francisco to Vancouver
• Lufthansa 477, Vancouver to Munich

Nov. 7
• Air Canada/Jazz 8889, Vancouver to Whitehorse
• Air Canada/Jazz 8194, Vancouver to Regina

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Click here for the BCCDC’s full list of flight exposures.


B.C. MAP OF WEEKLY COVID CASE COUNTS, VACCINATION RATES

Find out how your neighbourhood is doing in the battle against COVID-19 with the latest number of new cases, positivity rates, and vaccination rates:


B.C. VACCINE TRACKER



LOCAL RESOURCES for COVID-19 information

Here are a number of information and landing pages for COVID-19 from various health and government agencies.

B.C. COVID-19 Symptom Self-Assessment Tool

Vancouver Coastal Health – Information on Coronavirus Disease (COVID-19)

HealthLink B.C. – Coronavirus (COVID-19) information page

B.C. Centre for Disease Control – Novel coronavirus (COVID-19)

Government of Canada – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19): Outbreak update

World Health Organization – Coronavirus disease (COVID-19) outbreak

–with files from The Canadian Press

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